By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Hauppauge, N.Y. — Hauppauge Digital, which sells devices that add TV and DVR functionality to PCs, launched a low-cost device that lets TVs and stereos access PC-stored music, video and images through an Ethernet network.
The MediaMVP, a 6-inch by 6-inch networked media player, connects to a home's CAT-5e cabling system and can be installed within a wall or ceiling inside a junction box. Speakers, video monitors, TVs and other playback devices in turn are connected to a MediaMVP via a wall outlet. The suggested retail with IR remote is $99.
MVP supports Internet radio and playback of video in the MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and DiVX formats. It also decodes MP3 and WMA music files and JPEG and GIF images. It connects to A/V devices through composite video and S-Video connections and stereo audio connections.
For easy navigation, MediaMVP includes a remote control that allows users to pause, fast-forward and rewind through videos as well as pause music and picture shows. Up to 20 rooms can be networked using Media MVP.
Emeryville, Calif. — Meda Systems upgraded its whole-house Bravo music servers with multiple new features, including faster CD ripping and quick integration with a greater variety of products and control systems.
The servers incorporate CD ripper, multisource multizone audio switching, and preamplifier to distribute audio from an internal multizone HDD and from connected sources, including Ethernet-connected PCs.
Other upgrades include the ability to custom name any source and zone, ability to customize which music source starts in each zone, and more new IR commands, including commands allowing direct access to all sources and zones. The upgrades also allow users to add custom album art of their own to the GUI. A new instant-play capability lets users play a song even if they're loading songs.
Port Chester, N.Y. — SkipJam added new control options to its iMedia system, which distributes audio and video content from home A/V systems through a home's Ethernet-based PC network at prices starting at around $800.
The system consists of an iMedia Center, which attaches to an A/V system, and networked clients that access A/V-system content through the network. The clients also access A/V files on a networked PC or networked stand-alone HDD. The PC and stand-alone HDD will also be able to record programs off a networked TV, DVD player, VCR or radio. Any networked device can be controlled from any room of the house.
New control devices include three in-wall touch panels and an RF remote. The three touch panels connect to the network via wired Ethernet or wireless 802.11 options. The 5.7-inch model is $899, while the 10.4-inch model is $1,349 and the 15-inch model is $1,999. They let users send voice pages to any room or audio-equipped device in the house, including TVs.
An RF remote is now included with a Media Center, and additional units are available at $99. The remote also incorporates 2.4GHz cordless phone, enabling users to make phone calls, send voice pages to any networked device, use any stereo or TV as a speakerphone, and get caller ID on a TV or PC screen.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.